Much to my surprise, at some juncture in the novel, I suddenly found myself enjoying the story. The pages went by much faster and I actually became somewhat engaged in the plot. The writing did not improve much, but the diction got better when Nastasya began hanging out with smarter people. When she quits the wastrel lifestyle, the book becomes less Gossip Girl with eternal life and more about how to live a good life. The values espoused are actually honorable without being annoyingly preachy.